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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Going to Hell in a Handbag

Yikes.....I said I overspent yesterday, but today was one big purse party.

It's no surprise, or secret, that spending [or overspending] can be addictive and compulsive, just like cupcake or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup eating. And it's also common knowledge that people who suffer from one addiction can shift their compulsions to another.

Let's just get to it. The writing is a release, and I like that this blog--and your care--keeps me scrupulous. 

  • Donation, $2.
  • Figgy worked from 9 to 6 and I stopped by the store to bring her a Java Love red-eye with a little soy milk and a vegan sandwich, hummus with sun-dried tomatoes, etc. $12.95.
  • Parking at meter, 50 cents.
  • At Montclair Stationery, while making the delivery to Fig, I bought pretty valentines for two special people and two packs of heart-shaped paper doilies, one white and one red, $3.99 each. I hope to decorate around the house with them. I love Moleskine notebooks and was set to buy a new pink one, about $20, but Fig--who rings items up at the one register--said, without judgment, "Mom, you have so many notebooks already," so I put it back, reluctantly. I really did want it. $16.89.
  • ATM bank fees, $1.25 + $3. $4.25.
  • Then I went back to Blue Mercury, where I had my eye on that Trish McEvoy Golden Oil yesterday, and bought it. I also bought a Nest candle [burn time 20 hours] and a Nars Afterglow Lip Balm with SPF, $137.55.
  • Oh, and Blue Mercury had a special guest: jewelry designer Regan Caton of Charmed By a Cause. Stop right there, right?  Beauty and jewels in one spot. Regan, whom I had never met before, is very nice and lives in town. She pointed out the recycled Sterling Silver and that 20 percent of sale price goes to your choice of three charities. I chose the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and since the multi heart band ring was $80, $16 went right to that. Plus tax, $85.30. Look at this beautiful modern cocktail ring that I didn’t see until now.
  • Cafe Giotto, near Blue Mercury, for avocado toast w prosciutto and two more jars of those imported Italian tomatoes, which were delicious in the pan of eggplant parmigiana. $21.86.
  • Bad, bad: I thought I had parked in a legal spot but rats, I returned, dismayed, to a ticket tucked on windshield, $30. Just plain careless.
  • Okay, here's where it gets crazier. Had to get groceries and get car back to Dan, who was driving to Boston to write 60-Second Novels at a party. It was 12:21 p.m. and I was supposed to have car back at 1. Long grocery list. No way I could get to ShopRite in Bloomfield after all that other frivolous shopping time. Whole Foods was a block away. Didn't pull up in front of our house til 1:17; the store was packed, hard to maneuver cart. $205.74. **[And very stressful to get car back late, miscommunication with Dan. I think he miscalculated travel time.]
  • Uber to drop Punch and pal off at friend's Valentine's party in Montclair, $8.57 + $1.50 tip, $10.07.
  • Too cold to walk, and felt like nesting, so took Uber back home after dropping girls off, $8.05 + $1.50 tip, $9.55. [Another mom drove them home after party.]
DAILY TOTAL: $514.75. I realize I could have purchased a round-trip flight with that amount. 

I also see that I was racing around, frenzied, in a short window of time while I had the car, independence and mobility. Like I won a 30-minute shopping spree or something. [Remember seeing that on TV? A woman would win 5 minutes in a grocery store and sprint through the aisles, filling her cart.]

I felt sorry for myself that Dan was going to Boston--even though it’s a long, tiring ride and he would be working at the event for hours--and I would be home with Punch and ferrying her to a party.

As I handed over my debit card for those splurges, I felt the freedom of being alone, and defiance; no one to stop me--except Figgy with the Moleskine. I thought I deserved these things, that this was a way of taking care of myself--gentle candle glow, nourishing body oil, smooth lip balm. I do pamper myself with those products. Beauty, style--on the outside, not in.

I often feel unappreciated and unloved by Punch in my role as her legal guardian. In another time and place, I might have soothed my unease with a rich brownie at a bakery or a candy bar from a newsstand.

**According to my receipt, I bought 50 items. Four of them were big-ticket purchases: $10.99 for a large 24-oz. bag of coffee; $13.96 [good sale] for four quarts of strawberries, two of which Punch brought to Valentine's party; $19.99 for a large jug of pure maple syrup for baking; $19.99 [excellent price] for a full pound of smoked salmon.

I bought two wasteful treats: some kind of honey & truffle [earthy, not chocolate] Greek yogurt in a small, sexy black jar, $5.99, and a wedge of fancy French triple cream cheese, $5.28, which I should have skipped.

Punch and Fig both love the chocolate oat milk from Oatly, half-gallon, $4.99. I also got a ton of healthy foods, including almonds, asparagus, a lot of bananas, 3 huge bell peppers, yams, frozen broccoli, frozen mushrooms, frozen green beans, Ezekiel bread, coconut milk, organic whole milk, 7 cans of beans to make excellent chili, ground turkey for the same, large hummus, large salsa, large imported canned tomatoes, large local canned tomatoes etc.--and for Punch and friends' next baking adventure, large bag semisweet chocolate chips, big sack King Arthur flour and pound of butter.


  1. Agree overeating often based in food being cheap and convenient comfort. Have you looked for an online support group of foster moms? The comfort that group offers might be closer to your situation than adopting moms. Sorry you were feeling so trapped.

  2. Count on Liz to hone in on the true issue: you feeling trapped, and having a moment of rebellion in temporary freedom. It's so good to be aware of what you are doing, it is the first step towards change.

    I think if you were to read back your posts from years past, about your eating, you would see the years of insight and awareness that preceded substantial, lasting, change. It is now another time and place, you are not hurting yourself with sugar every day. Celebrate the changes for a moment.

    Support groups have to be the best thing. I am a member of a couple of on-line groups that are really helping me cope with my own issues.

    One of my kids went through a phase (lasting years) of hating me for being there when his mother was gone. He said terrible things to me out loud. Then he went silent. He would only talk to me when he needed something. He's now my pal, and seeks me out for career counseling as he moves ahead solidly in the working world.

    Love you.

    1. Dear Nan—thank you for that wise and sweet support. Wow, that must have been hard with your young man. Yup, I feel you. So glad it ended well. Absolutely, being aware is first step to change. I find this blog log is keeping me honest. I didn’t want to report all of those purchases, but I did. So strange. This morning, I woke up to Punchy hugging and kissing me. That is rare. It felt good. Love, Alice

  3. Hi Liz. Thanks. No, I haven’t looked for one of those groups and haven’t even attended the rare foster parent events I hear about. But I might. I feel almost overwhelmed in reaching for support. OA meetings, I’ve recently increased to more than once a week. Cornerstone, a group of supportive women at church. And even Angel’s self-care women’s group that meets weekly. But I wil give it some thought. Also, a lot of reading to keep up with. Love Alice

    1. I meant I feel almost overwhelmed with the amount of support I’m seeking already—plus therapy every other week. And yoga, I would like to fit that in, also. Sigh. Not sure can fit in weekly self-care group I mentioned.